As some of you may or may not know, in addition to running several companies, doing this podcast, and raising four kids, I am still in fact a busy editorial photographer for brands and couples worldwide. Because of my educational company, I talk to hundreds of leaders and educators around the world and I bring some of those people here to this platform, but I have yet to have a conversation here that is directly about photography.
Stephanie Fisher is a Colorado-based film and digital wedding photographer, and in this episode, we really dive into what it’s like to run a 6-figure creative business. We talk about cultivating unique imagery for your clients by getting to know yourself so your work can grow and become something individual to you. We also dive into her unique client experience and how it allows her to maintain 6-figures while only shooting 10 weddings a year. Stephanie is also a mom of two young children. We discuss motherhood, outsourcing, the strain travel puts on relationships, and balancing a demanding career with a growing family.
Staying True to Your Style
One of the challenges of being a photographer is playing the comparison game. Most of us are guilty of it. We see someone creating something we like and try to do it, too. One thing I love about Stephanie is that she stays true to her own style and personality as a photographer rather than trying to emulate others. We talk about how her work is unique and strong because it comes from within (not from Pinterest inspiration!) She also shares many good tips about finding your style by getting to know yourself, and how her style changes over time, especially when she became a mother.
Stephanie also emphasizes the importance of being intentional and taking time to be receptive to the needs of her clients and creating something unique for them. We discuss the pitfalls of overshooting. Stephanie explains how she shoots less than other photographers, that her galleries have fewer photos, but that her clients are always happy with the results.
She also talks about how slowing down and being intentional during shooting is part of the client experience that she curates for each shoot, and that it is what allows her to charge a lot of money and work less while delivering a great experience.
Cultivating an Unforgettable Client Experience
After having her daughter, Stevie, Stephanie’s client experience changed. She knew she couldn’t take on 30 weddings like before, but didn’t want her income to take a hit. So, she decided to elevate her client experience.
She only takes ten weddings a year and makes well over six figures. One of the key elements of her experience is that every package comes with a complimentary session. She does this purposely because she needs to get to know her clients as people without the pressure of a wedding day. She wants to learn who they are, how they like to be shot, and what their love language is.
This session is short, sweet, and to the point. It helps her understand her clients, their personalities, and their preferences. Ultimately, this session allows her to create art that is specific to her clients. When she goes into a wedding day, she knows exactly how her clients like to be shot and how they interact with each other so that it all flows naturally.
The bonus? The session essentially becomes a styled shoot where Stephanie gets to build her portfolio with new, interesting locations and styles. This all funnels back into her business to attract new clients by showcasing her personal style.
Scheduling Time for Business, Motherhoood & Self
As a mother of two young children, balancing a demanding career and a growing family is no easy feat. We talk about how having children has changed Stephanie’s business structure, schedule, and relationship with success.
Stephanie’s career as a traveling photographer has taken her all over the world. While she loves the thrill of traveling, she acknowledges that it is much harder to be a traveling photographer than a local photographer, especially when you’re a mother. When you’re traveling, it takes a week to do what would take her a day or two locally. Then after spending several days shooting, when you come back home your kids now need your attention more than ever.
Stephanie realized early on that she needed to establish a schedule to manage her time better for both work and having quality time with her kids. Having her kids in school on set days every week gives her set work block times each week. This still allows her to spend a lot of time with her kids during the week. She’s also learned that uninterrupted one-on-one time with each child is essential, for both her and her kids.
Even though she still travels for 90% of her weddings, sometimes her husband comes with her to have more one-on-one time together.
This schedule has worked for her and her family and ensures that she has enough time for her business, her family, and herself.
Get Back Your Time by Outsourcing
Outsourcing is one of the best ways to increase productivity in your business while spending less of your time, something all parents could use more of. Stephanie talks about how outsourcing her editing initially felt like a big ego blow.
But after making a list of tasks taking up the most time, she realized that editing was taking up a lot of her time, and it wasn’t providing any value to her clients. She eventually trained someone to edit like her, giving her back her time, and has even been able to over-deliver on client expectations by delivering galleries earlier than expected.
We talk about how “scared money don’t make money”, and although she is spending money to outsource, at the end she is delivering a superior client experience and making more money in the long run.
Connect with Stephanie Fisher
We will definitely have a part two because there was so much more for Stephanie and me to connect on from education to community building to relationships and focusing on what’s really important. You can find Stephanie on Instagram @fromthedaisies and in her private Facebook group for wedding photographers.
Want to travel the world with me? Join me in Iceland May 16-17, 2023!
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